Asus Extreme N6600GT x 2 - Revisiting SLI
Half Life 2
|Thanks to the dedication of millions of gamers and a huge mod-community, the original Half-Life became one of the most successful first person shooters of all time. So, when Valve announced Half-Life 2 was close to completion in mid-2003, gamers the world over began chomping at the bit. Unfortunately, thanks to a compromised internal network; the theft of a portion of the game's source code; a couple of missed deadlines; and a tumultuous relationship with the game's distributor, Vivendi Universal, we all had to wait until November 2004 to get our hands on this game. We benchmarked Half-Life 2 with a long, custom- recorded timedemo in the "canals" map, that takes us through an outdoor and an indoor environment. These tests were run at resolutions of 1,024x768 and 1,600 x 1,200 without any AA or aniso and with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering enabled concurrently.|
The performance results reported by our custom Half Life 2 timedemo mirrored the FarCry results. Here, a single GeForce 6600 GT performed well in every test configuration, except for the high-resolution test with anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled where its framerate dropped to 23.21 FPS. Enabling SLI mode increased performance measurably (by roughly 18% - 77%), but the high-end singe card configurations were still superior, as was the 6800 GT SLI configuration. Again we saw a slight dip in performance in a CPU-bound situation, but in a GPU bound situation like our hi-res test with AA and aniso enabled, the performance increase offered by running a pair of video cards in SLI mode approached 80%.